Gators in NBA Finals: Haslem chasing another ring

Special to
Miami forward Udonis Haslem dribbles as Indiana forward JaKarr Sampson defends during a NBA game earlier this season in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Former Florida standout Udonis Haslem wants to let his Miami Heat teammates know what the NBA Finals, which start tonight, are all about.

“I know the narrative that people will try to preach,” Haslem, the only player on all six of Miami’s finals teams, told The Associated Press. “But I want my guys to understand that it’s not about LeBron (James) ... it’s about the Heat vs. the Lakers. LeBron played here. This has nothing to do with that. None of these guys were here when that happened. It’s the Miami Heat vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. That's it."

Haslem has spent his 17 NBA seasons with the Heat, who he has helped to three NBA championships. He is the only former UF standout (1998–2002) representing the Gators on this title stage.

He is the 30th player in league history to play after turning 40 years old, as well as the first modern era undrafted player to play to that age.